on values, boundaries and attitudes

We have had a terse few weeks, with fractious tempers, unkind words and ok, I admit it, a fair bit of shouting in this house.

Finally after a family meeting, peace is on its way to being restored. But, while the kids have had some explicit lessons, I also have had some internal realisations of behaviour change for me too.
And it all hinges around the idea of values.

value: to assess or estimate the worth, merit or desirability of; to have a high regard for, esp. in respect of worth, usefulness, merit, etc.

How do I teach my children to value their mother and all she does for them, if I don’t value the things I do. It’s not that I have to love every minute of the mundane chores that make up my life. Or even walk around with a stupid smile that makes me look like I’ve been drugged into loving it.

But I do have to actually recognise that I am clothing, feeding and caring for my loved ones and that is a sacred task. When I help them with nightly homework and practice routines I am fostering their education and that is a sacred task. When I drive them to activities and to meet friends, I am broadening their friendship base and that is a sacred task. When I tell them for the umpteenth time to put their shoes on (…nope lost here, help me out people!)

What about how they treat me. Do I let them give me their rubbish when they are finished with it? As if I am a walking rubbish bin? Do l allow them to talk to me in a way that I wouldn’t let them talk to their grandparents? Do I do every single thing for them? And then wonder why they treat me like a slave?

A lot of my daughters’ recent attitudes is a result of learned behaviour, and while it would be easy to say it is due to school or friends. In actual fact and more sobering, they learnt it from me.

I need to express my value to them in gently worded boundaries. “I am not a rubbish bin, but there is one over there, please go and use it”. “I am sorry but you can not speak to me like that, go away and think of a better way to phrase that”.

Boundaries are my way of saying I am of value. Value comes from the latin word valere “to be worth”. And while these boundaries will teach my girls the worth of their mother, they will also learn their own worth too.

So using the words of a popular advertising slogan:

“Boundaries … because you’re worth it”

Join me for the journey,